Rights and Responsibilities of a Residential Water and/or Sewer Utility Customer

Billing Statements

All water utility bills must include:
1. Current meter reading and date.
2. Previous meter reading and date.
3. Number of gallons consumed.
4. If estimated, a note indicating the bill as such.
5. The latest pay date and the delinquent date, as bills are due on receipt.
6. Clear itemization of the amounts of the bill for the current billing period, any unpaid balance, and the late penalty fees.
7. Clear itemization of other utility charges and credits.
8. A statement that rates are available upon request.
9. A statement that, if the rate schedule is not included with the bill, the utility must provide a copy of the rate schedule to customer upon request and whenever a rate becomes effective.
10. A statement that this utility is regulated by the Public Service Commission of West Virginia.

Definitions

Bill due date - The date when the utility mails the bill. (Bills are due upon receipt.)
Latest pay date – The last day, which shall be no sooner than the 20th day following the bill due date, that the bill may be paid without incurring a late payment penalty.
Delinquent bill – Any bill issued by PPSD that has not been paid within 20 days of the bill due date.

Statement Reminders

The due date and the latest pay date pertains to the current charges ONLY. Any delinquent/past due balance should be paid immediately to prevent termination of service.

A utility is not responsible for delivery of mail by the U.S. Postal Service. The customer is responsible to know that they are using the service and if they have not received a bill, to call the utility to inquire about balance and due date.

Customer Information

Explanation of Meter Readings - The utility will inform customers by explanation at the utility office the method of reading meters.

Explanation of Rates – The utility shall explain to the customer the utility’s rates applicable to the type of service furnished to the customer and all other classes of customers.

Posting of Rates & Policy, Law, Rules and Collection Agents
     The utility shall maintain in its office for inspection by the public, the following:
          1. Approved tariff rates
          2. Rules & Policies of utility
          3. Copy of the PSC Law of West Virginia
          4. A copy of the PSC Water & Sewer Rules and Regulations

     PPSD does not have any authorized payment locations/agents other than the business office.

Disconnect Service

It is the customer’s responsibility to make a request, in writing, for service disconnect. If the District is not notified, monthly billing will continue & customer is responsible for any billing charges that accrue.

Deposit Requirement

A deposit is required when applying for new service. A deposit may also be required if a deposit is not on file – to restore water service after such service has been terminated for non-payment.

Late Payment Penalty

A utility can add a late payment penalty if your payment has not been received at the utility by the latest pay date printed on your bill. On all current usage billings not paid by the latest pay date, 10% will be added to the net current amount unpaid. This delayed payment penalty is not interest and is to be collected only once for each bill where it is appropriate.

Deferred Payment Agreement

A customer shall be given the opportunity to enter into a Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA) – provided that the customer has demonstrated an ability to pay but only in installments. The details of the DPA are to be negotiated between the utility and the customer. Several factors are considered, including but not limited to: amount of delinquency; ability of the customer to pay; payment history; time the delinquency has been outstanding; reasons why the delinquency has been outstanding; and any other relevant factors. Once a DPA has been established, the customer must pay the current bill on time and in full and make timely payment in accordance with the DPA.

Service Terminations

A utility must mail a written notice of termination before your service can be disconnected. This notice must include:
     1. Date when service can be terminated.
     2. Reason for the termination.
     3. Right to challenge the termination.
     4. Instructions for contacting the utility personnel by telephone and mail, including business hours.
     5. Instructions for contacting the PSC, if you are not satisfied with the challenge to the utility.

The notice must be mailed to your mailing address at least 10 days prior to termination date. If service is not terminated within 30 days, the utility must make a written termination notice again.

A utility may terminate utility service without notice where a dangerous condition exists for as long as it exists or where there has been tampering with the utility’s equipment or facilities.

Your service cannot be terminated for non-payment of charges for services not related to water, sewer and/or storm water services, if applicable.

Your service can be terminated if:
     1. You fail to pay your bill, including delinquent bills from previous address.
     2. You fail to pay your DPA on time.
     3. You fail to pay required deposits.
     4. You tamper with the meter.
     5. There is a safety hazard.
     6. You refuse/fail to allow utility to obtain a meter reading.
     7. There is a violation of Rules.

Have a Dispute?

First, contact your utility to attempt to resolve the problem. If the utility cannot resolve your problem, you may contact the Utility Complaints at the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC). While a Consumer Affairs Technician reviews your dispute, your service should not be terminated. However, you must still promptly pay any charges not in dispute. The Consumer Affairs Technician will contact you & the utility to discuss the resolution in an informal manner. Most of the requests for assistance are resolved in an informal manner. However, if these efforts are not satisfactory, staff can provide you with information on how to obtain further review of your PSC complaint.

WVPSC contact information:

West Virginia Public Service Commission
Utility Complaints - Water & Wastewater Division
Consumer Affairs Technicians
201 Brooks Street
PO Box 812
Charleston, WV 25323-0812
1-800-642-8544
Fax: 304-340-3759
www.psc.state.wv.us